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Salla Vilnia Elessis Candamelia Rolle. (b. Errau, Ghananda, 25 Heatrick, 11941) is an Aesedran noblewoman, the youngest child and only daughter of Duke Drono Rolle of Ghananda. Her mother is the Polatian noblewoman Sibodan, and she is the younger half-sister of Vaeyan Rolle.
This is from Andrew Cowan's book The Art of Writing Fiction (Routledge 2011), from the chapter on characterisation. Cowan suggests finding a photograph and posing it twenty speculative questions. As an exercise, I've posed them to Vilnia, who is the protagonist in a story I'm writing set in Aesedra. I've posed these questions to her just as she's arrived in Heddig after her flight from the Coldfells.
Nia answers twenty questions:
- What is your name? – Vilnia Elessis Candamelia Rolle.
- How old are you? – 25.
- What do you do for a living? I’m a noblewoman.
- Are you happy in your work? If I actually worked according to your definition, I would say I was happy, yes.
- What are your ambitions? To see that no woman ever lives in slavery.
- Do you live on your own or with others? With others mainly.
- Do you have any pets? No.
- What is your favourite smell? The bath salts used in Kellermore balneas.
- How do you relax? By having a bath. Preferably with someone beautiful.
- What is your most treasured possession? My health and my sanity together.
- What was the last thing you stole? Clothes, wine and a carriage.
- What do you most dislike about your appearance? I pout.
- When were you last naked in front of another person? Who’s to say I’m not now?
- Who was the last person to say they loved you? His name was Elial. I don’t seriously expect anyone else to say that to me for some time.
- When did you last tell a lie, and why? I may have told one in this questionnaire.
- What keeps you awake at night? Fear.
- What do you most regret in your life? I couldn’t name a single regret. There are too many.
- What is your proudest achievement? Escaping slavery.
- What would love to do that you haven’t done yet? I’ll keep this one to myself.
- What do you most fear? Being made a slave again.